Some of you lovely followers out there will probably be aware that our poor old Jessie dog has not been too well of late. At sixteen she was almost blind, pretty much deaf and struggling very much with her back legs. Yesterday it all became too much and the decision was made to have her quietly put to sleep. It was a decision I'd been dreading but we've known for the last few months that things were getting worse and there was a sudden nosedive this week.
Today I've had a quiet day. Not working on Fridays, I decided to stay close to home and found myself on auto pilot - cleaning, washing, and generally trying to keep myself busy.
But it was hard.
Jessie used to follow me everywhere - she had no manners with regard to following me and staring whilst I visited the bathroom! I found myself automatically stepping over where her bed had been, and saving her some crusts from my sandwiches. When I answered the door earlier I automatically put my hand out to hold her collar. It's going to take some time to get used to.
But I have some lovely memories.
We 'rescued' her from a dogs home when she was six months old. She had a strong sense of wanderlust and would often take herself off on an adventure while our backs were turned. She sometimes got returned by complete strangers looking very pleased with herself. It was as though she'd found some new friends and was very glad to introduce us! She was picked up by the police and spent a night in the cells when they went off duty, she visited various offices on the local industrial estate, and once even made it across quite a busy dual carriageway to be found in the kitchen of a popular restaurant. On several occasions we would have a call from our local dvd store whose automatic doors would generously allow her entrance - 'Hi there - we've got Jessie here again - don't rush!'
And of course whenever she was returned people would say the same thing, usually along the lines of 'Oh but she's so lovely - and she does enjoy a custard cream!'
She adored our girls and put up with many years of being snuggled and squeezed by gaggles of toddlers.
When we had fourteen ducklings hatch in our garden she would lie there patiently while they waddled around and over her on the way to our little pond. And Ned rabbit could often be found stretched out next to her in a sunny patch of grass.
She really had the sweetest nature and gave us years of unconditional devotion.
She was gentle, loving and fun.
And we will miss her.